Ebbsfleet owner plans more improvements

Ebbsfleet owner plans more improvements

Owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi has big plans for the club

Peter Varney with Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi

Steve Brown. Picture by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi is promising more improvements at Ebbsfleet United next season, even if the club don’t win promotion to the Conference in Saturday’s play-off final against Dover.

The Kuwaiti rescued the ailing and debt ridden Stonebridge Road club last summer when it was threatened with a winding up order and closure.

But since he and former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney arrived as knights in shining armour, the Fleet has been transformed on and off the pitch.

News Shopper: Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi with Peter Varney on Saturday

As well as the investment in improving the playing squad overseen by new manager Steve Brown, Stonebridge Road itself has been given a much-needed makeover.

And now the club are just one game away from an instant return to non-league’s top flight, although Dr Al-Humaidi still retains bigger ambitions in the long-term.

He said: “Nothing is impossible. They’ve reached the play-offs, won against Bromley and with the performance I’ve seen I think they will pull it off and get promotion.

“They are the same players but you can see the fighting spirit, you can see the passion and I think that makes a difference.

“The infrastructure has improved as well and hopefully next season you will see more improvements at the club.

“I’m delighted with the progress so far.

“Like I said a couple of months ago I think Peter Varney and the other directors have done a great job, both on and off the pitch.

“My ambitions are the same as when I started, nothing has changed.

“Year on year you will see lots of improvements in this football club and hopefully as I said at the beginning we will take it to the Football League.”

Brown endured a difficult start to life at the club after taking over from Liam Daish as manager, winning just one of his opening nine league games despite a major recruitment drive ahead of the big kick-off.

That run ultimately ensured Fleet were never really ever in the title race and instead had to concentrate on reaching the play-offs, something which could very well produce the promotion desired this weekend.

There were calls for some to end Brown’s tenure during those tough early months, but Dr Al-Humaidi always felt sticking with their man was the right thing to do.

He said: “It has been a good decision.

“Things like this should be taken slowly, it is a step by step approach.

News Shopper: These are happy times for Fleet and Steve Brown. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

“You have to slowly build up anything and I think a football club is no different. You’ve seen the set up off the pitch has been tremendous.

“We’ve started the academy and things will improve as time goes by.

“I’m pretty certain that in a couple of years time this football club will be in the Football League and every supporter will be very proud of this club.”

Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt for live updates from Ebbsfleet v Dover on Saturday (3pm)

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